CS 325 and Film 385: Introduction to VR Toolbox (Quicktime VR)


Highlights of this lab:

  • What is Quicktime VR?
  • Introduction to the VR Toolbox
  • Detailed Example - Creating a Panorama
  • Other Examples (Not detailed)
  • Assignment

:: What is Quicktime VR? ::

QuickTime Virtual Reality is an extension of the QuickTime technology developed by Apple Computer, Inc. that allows viewers to interactively explore and examine photo realistic, three-dimensional, virtual world. Unlike many other virtual reality systems, QuickTime VR does not require the viewer to wear goggles, a helmet or gloves. Instead, the viewer navigates in a virtual world using conventional computer input devices (such as the mouse, trackball, track pad or keyboard) to change the displayed image via the QuickTime VR movie controller


:: Introduction to the VR Toolbox ::

The VR Toolbox, or VR Worx, has options to create a panorama, to control an object (ie, rotate an object around), and to create a linked scene. For the purposes of this lab we are only going to look at creating a panorama scene but I will breifly mention and give examples of the two other options.

What is a Panorama:

A QuickTime VR panoramic node presents a panoramic view captured from a central point. The panoramic movie that is created presents up to a full 360?view of a desired location that a viewer can pan, tilt and zoom. These actions can be accomplished by clicking and dragging the mouse or by using keyboard commands. Partial panoramas are also possible, presenting less than a 360?view of a single location.

To create a panoramic movie, a photographer must first capture images by placing their camera on a device known as a pan head and mounting it atop a tripod. The pan head rotates the camera around its nodal point (the exact location within the camera’s lens where the focused image inverts itself). As the camera is rotated, several photographs are taken. Once this is accomplished, the images are then able to be loaded into a computer where The VR Worx software begins “stitching?them together. The end result is a complete, seamless panoramic image that can be displayed as a QuickTime VR movie.

What is an Object Rotation:

A QuickTime VR object movie is a form of QuickTime movie that presents multiple views of a single object. The viewer can interact with this object, revealing different views, by clicking and dragging the object with the mouse, or by using keyboard commands. They can also zoom in or out on the object.

What is a Mulit-node Scene:

A QTVR scene is simply an encapsulation of one or more nodes. These nodes may contain panoramas or objects. The VR Worx also supports special nodes for static images and traditional “linear?QuickTime movies, although QuickTime VR does not explicitly support this feature. The VR Worx accomplishes it by converting still images and linear movies into object nodes. The individual nodes can be navigated by establishing links between nodes.

The links are triggered by clicking hot spots. A scene is designed by laying out individual nodes on a map and establishing relationships between the nodes. These relationships are in the form of links that are “drawn?between the nodes. Properties of these links, such as the placement, size and shape of the hot spots that trigger them, must be individually defined.


:: Example - Creating a Panorama ::

This guide presents an example of how to use VR PanoWorx to compose QuickTime VR panoramic movies. This lesson will expose you to the basics of composition as well as introduce you to some of the more advanced capabilities of VR PanoWorx.

Accompanying this tutorial are several source image files, which are referred to, in the accompanying examples.

Here are the instructions to create this panorama.


:: Other Examples (Not detailed) ::

Here are some other sample examples. One is a demonstration on how to create an Object Rotation and the other is a demonstration of the creation of a multi-node scene. Both zip files come with detailed instructions and are here for your learning enjoyment!


:: Assignment ::

For this lab assignment I want you to create a panorama, object rotation or mulit-node scene. The pictures can be those seen in the lab or your own pictures. You can use your own camera equipment (digital or non-digital/scanned images) or take out equipment from Joe.

I prefer that you complete and show me your work in the lab this week. If, however, you want to use your own pictures I will mark your work after next week's lab presentation. Have fun!


..:: Online Source(s) ::..